In my last semester of high school, I decided to make a mixtape commemorate each of the four previous years. The result was one of my favorite projects I’ve completed, a soundtrack to a few of the defining moments in my life.
“The times you lived through, the people you shared those times with — nothing brings it all to life like an old mix tape,” says Rob Sheffield in his book, Love is a Mixtape. “It does a better job of storing up memories than actual brain tissue can do. Every mix tape tells a story. Put them together, and they can add up to the story of a life.”
With this spirit in mind, I expanded the project. I filled in the memories of junior high visits to summer camp and dancing in the living as a toddler with my mom. I cataloged songs from college parties and filed away every lyric I heard when a girl made my heart beat fast. I kept the list going through college, through first jobs, through moving cross country, through political upheaval, and yes, even through a global pandemic. This running mixtape, the story of my life as I remember it, became the infinite playlist project.
As of this writing, it totals close to 1,000 songs that collectively clock in at over 60 hours. Listen closely and you can hear my tastes develop and change. You can hear me go from being a dumb kid to an even dumber grown-up. You can hear heartache and passion and the joy of a life lived. And the best part is, I’m not even close to finished yet…